Yngre og ældre ældres risiko for selvmord efter deres partners død


  • Anette Erlangsen Aarhus Universitet
  • Bernard Jeune Syddansk Universitet




Annette Erlangsen og Bernard Jeune: Risk of suicide among the old and oldest old after death of partner The purpose of this article is to examine the relation between civil status and the death of a partner and suicide among the oldest old (80 years and older) compared with younger age groups. The article also analyses whether the death of a partner exerts a temporal influence on the risk of suicide. The study includes information about the entire Danish population aged 50 years and over in the period 1994-1998. Suicide rates were analysed by civil status and age group, and the risk of suicide after the death of a partner was assessed by using “event-history analysis“. The highest rate of suicide was found among the oldest old for both men and women. However, the highest increase in risk after the death of a partner is found among people aged 65-79. The oldest old men who are either never married, divorced, or widowed have higher suicide rates than married men, while there is little difference between married and widowed women in this age group. Compared to married people, the relative risk of suicide increases significantly during the first year after the death of a partner. In the following years the risk levels off. The first months after the death of a partner are associated with an elevated risk for suicide. Measured relative to married persons, the suicide risk of recently bereaved men increases more than for women.


Anette Erlangsen, Aarhus Universitet

Ph.D., adjunkt ved Center for Registerforskning, Aarhus Universitet.

Bernard Jeune, Syddansk Universitet

M.D., lektor, institutleder for Institut for Sundhedstjenesteforskning, Syddansk Universitet.